Some Early Thoughts About the iPad Pro

It has been about two weeks since I got my iPad Pro. I was probably one of the earliest to get it in Singapore before it was officially out.

Some thoughts:

1. When you first see it, your first thought will be “Wah, so big!”. Your second thought will be, “Wah, that’s really big!”

It is not designed for one-handed operation, though it is only about 712grams, about the weight of the first iPad.

It is happier on the table. Or carried with both hands.

2. The screen is incredible. I feel like my photos look awesome on it, and as a photographer, having something that shows your photos in the best light, in 5.6 million pixel glory, is really important.

That said, any flaws are also visible. Every bit of motion blur and poor focus is visible when you zoom into that photo on the 12.9-inch screen.

3. The speakers. Oh. My. The speakers. They have bass. They are loud without distortion. The four speakers, one at each corner, switch orientation when you turn the iPad Pro around, always keeping the top two speakers firing the mids and highs.

Movies and TV shows shine on this device. I rarely watch things on a tablet without my headphones. I don’t even do that with my MacBook 12-inch Retina because I don’t like the tinny sound. But not this iPad Pro. I want to hear the sound from the speakers. They are that nice.

I used to travel with an iPad Air 2 (tiny serviceable speakers that only fired sound out of one side when watching a movie in landscape) and a very loved Harmon Kardon portable Bluetooth speaker so I could get nice room-filling music in my hotel room. I may just take the iPad Pro alone for the next trip.

4. The iPad Pro is fast. They say it is up to two times faster than the iPad Air 2, which wasn’t a slouch in the first place.

I can feel it when I work. I open photos. Edit them. Type stuff. Open two apps side by side to work. Run a movie in Picture-in-Picture mode. The iPad Pro doesn’t break a sweat.

5. I wish there was no bezel. This is a peeve. I want to see an edge-to-edge screen. I know I’m asking for a lot. But an all-screen device would be awesome.

6. The Smart Keyboard and Pencil work great with the iPad Pro. The Smart Keyboard adds about 300grams to the iPad Pro, bringing it to about 1.1kg total weight, MacBook weight territory.

Yes, I weighed the Smart Keyboard because A) I am a nerd and B) there were no specs of its weight found anywhere.

iPad Pro or MacBook for Travel?

So do I pack the MacBook 12-inch, which weighs 900grams by itself and 1.2kg by the time you add an protective neoprene sleeve and the charging cable and plug? Or do I take the iPad Pro with Smart Cover and Lightning charger plug and cable?

It’s a close fight, weight-wise. And call me anal but I’m an ultralight traveler, and every gram counts.

I think for most of what I do, writing and photography, the iPad Pro can take care of business when I travel. I still find the Mac OS and the MacBook more useful for things like uploading to my blog and my Exposure photography site. But that’s only because these two online properties don’t have good app-support.

Video editing is doable on both the iPad Pro and the MacBook but the iPad Pro can handle 3 streams on 4K video in its version of iMovie. That’s amazing, considering that video editing is traditionally a desktop computer’s thing.

For heavy video lifting, I think my dual-screen desktop Mac will still be the go-to device but on the road, one can get decent video done on an iPad Pro, methinks.

I think I’ll take the iPad Pro on my next trip, which is the end of the month, and see how it performs. I will post updates on my thoughts.

Meanwhile, I am going to read my new Star Wars comics on this gorgeous screen.